Amongst the rising stars at the 16th annual ABB LEAF Awards, one of architecture’s most celebrated figures, 81-year-old Sir Peter Cook, received the LEAF Award for Lifetime Achievement.

More than 140 of architecture’s biggest names gathered at London’s Royal Horseguards Hotel for Compelo’s ABB LEAF Awards.

The awards honour some of the best new international architectural designs. As such, all shortlisted and winning projects are recognised as setting the benchmark for the future of the industry.

ABB LEAF Awards - Compelo
Guests at this year’s ABB LEAF Awards enjoy a drink at the reception at London’s Royal Horseguards Hotel.


This year’s glittering black-tie event celebrated winners in 18 categories. In addition, the judges bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award on educator and trailblazer Sir Peter Cook.

Rick Kelsey, BBC reporter and presenter of Radio 1’s Newsbeat, was once again master of ceremonies. Furthermore, the judging panel included SBID president Vanessa Brady OBE, Alan Crawford of the Crawford Partnership and Firas Hnoosh of Perkins+Will.

Artists in Residence

The overall winner on the night was Canadian practice II BY IV DESIGN for its work on the Residences of 488 University Ave in Toronto. The project additionally won the Interior Design Award – Future category.

The panel applauded the Hamamyolu Urban Deck in Eskisehir, Turkey for “breathing new life into an otherwise forgotten street.” For this reason, Yazgan Design Architecture picked up the trophy for Urban Design Project of the Year.

ABB LEAF Awards - Compelo
II by IV Design won the overall awards for The Residences of 488 University Avenue. Image©II by IV Design.


Founding partner Kerem Yazgan said later: “[To win] was a great feeling, not only for me but also for the city.”

In addition, Černo + Architekten took home Best Sustainable Development of the Year – Future.

“This modular solution is in harmony with the simplicity of the existing house,” the judging panel said of the modestly named “Extension of the family house” in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Additionally, the judges described the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre in Kuwait City as “a celebration of the scientific and cultural achievements of mankind.” Architectural practice SSH consequently picked up Public Building of the Year.

The panel also praised Sanjay Puri Architects for providing high rise residential buildings with “private open spaces”. As a result, the studio took home Residential Building of the Year (Multiple Occupancy) for Ishatvam 9 in Ranchi, India.

Sir Peter Cook: a lifetime in architecture

Professor Bob Sheil of the Bartlett School of Architecture presented the LEAF Award for Lifetime Achievement to Sir Peter Cook.

Previous years’ awards have honoured Santiago Calatrava, Moshe Safdie and Daniel Liebeskind.

“I think it’s fair to say that Peter is the most influential figure in progressive architecture education in the last 50 years,” Sheil said. “It struck me that here we are celebrating somebody’s life who was born in the 1930s, whose ideas are as relevant today as they ever were.”

In addition, he went on to describe Cook as “an extraordinarily generous person” and a “national treasure”.

ABB LEAF Awards - Compelo
Sir Peter Cook receives his Lifetime Achievement Award.


Cook was knighted in 2007 in recognition of an architectural and teaching career that spans half a century. And he’s not finished yet.

“I’m still the right side of 81,” Cook said as he accepted the award. “The next building is going to be the best one and the funkiest one, so watch out.

“You are a wonderfully international group, and I have spent many decades enjoying being a member of a non-national community,” he added.

Overall, the theme of the evening was “Create the future”. Accordingly, Cook said he hoped the industry would continue to value global collaboration and inventive thinking.

On a lighter note, he concluded: “I’m optimistic that one day we will rediscover the long lunch.”

ABB LEAF Awards 2017 winners’ list

Overall Winner, II BY IV DESIGN, The Residences of 488 University Ave, Toronto, Canada

Lifetime Achievement of the Year, Sir Peter Cook

Developer and Development Project of the Year, CoCo Architecture, Olemps, France

Best Façade Design and Engineering of the Year (sponsored by INOX-COLOR ASTAD) – National Museum of Qatar, Doha, Qatar

Urban Design of the Year, Yazgan Design Architecture Ltd Co, Hamamyolu Urban Deck, Eskişehir, Turkey

Best Future Building of the Year (Under Construction), Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia, Dallara Motorsport Academy, Parma, Italy

Best Future Building of the Year (Drawing Board), Andrew Bromberg at Aedas, Chengdu City Music Hall, Chengdu, China

Best Sustainable Development of the Year (Future), Cerno+Architekten, Extension of the Family House, Bratislava, Slovakia

Best Sustainable Development of the Year (Completed), GRUENTUCH ERNST ARCHITEKTEN, German School Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Public Building of the Year, SSH, Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Refurbishment of the Year, Tabanlioglu Architects Melkan Gursel & Murat Tabanlioglu, Beyazıt State Library, Istanbul, Turkey

Hospitality Building of the Year (Future), ENOTA, Tetusa Oasis Resort, Cesme, Turkey

Hospitality Building of the Year (Completed), WOW ARCHITECTS | WARNER WONG DESIGN, Vommuli Island, Maldives

Commercial Building of the Year Award, Design Unit, Factory in the Forest, Penang, Malaysia

Interior Design Award (Future) (sponsored by Axolight) – II BY IV DESIGN, The Residences of 488 University Ave, Toronto, Canada

Interior Design Award (Completed) (sponsored by Axolight) – Nikken Space Design, XIV Toba Bettei, Toba-shi Mie Prefecture, Japan

Residential Building of the Year (Multiple Occupancy), Sanjay Puri Architects, Ishatvam 9, Ranchi, India

Residential Building of the Year (Single Occupancy), Studio MK27, Jungle House, Sǎo Paulo, Brazil

Mixed-Use Building of the Year, Labics & 3TI PROGETTI, City of the Sun, Rome, Italy

The ABB LEAF Awards 2017

Power and automation technology specialist ABB is the headline partner and trophy patron of the ABB LEAF Awards. Read more about the 2017 awards, organised by Arena International, here.

In addition, read a full review of the 16th ABB LEAF Awards on the LEAF Review website.

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